Sunday, November 10, 2013


(I apologize for the distracting nature of the above graphic, but I decided to use it simply because it spins.)

Anna is a fascinating woman who we don't know much about; she's only mentioned in one short bible passage. The context is Joseph and Mary presenting Jesus at the temple. Simeon has just seen Jesus and praised God for allowing him to look upon the promised Christ. Then, in Luke 2:36-38, we read the following:

"And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem."

In just a few verses we see Anna's faithfulness to God and service to his people. We read specifically that:

-Anna was a prophetess.
-Anna worshiped with fasting and prayers.
-Anna worshiped ceaselessly.
-Anna proclaimed God's faithfulness to his people.

It's difficult to determine exactly what it means that Anna was a prophetess. However, we can assume that she at least faithfully spoke words of truth to the people based on what had been revealed in the Old Testament. Since she was elderly, it is likely that the people of Israel sought her out for her wisdom. She carried on this ministry without pause. It's an amazing statement that "she did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day." As part of her prophetic gifting, God showed her (similar to Simeon) that this baby was the Messiah. Anna understood this, thanked God for it, and told others about it. We know this because Luke specifically mentions "the redemption of Jerusalem," which is another way of referring to God's rescue of his people through the Messiah.

Anna was a faithful follower of God who obediently carried out service to his people. This is the continuing theme we see among many of the women who are highlighted in the pages of the New Testament.


Arthur Sido said...

Anna seems to be similar to John the Baptizer, one of the last Old Covenant prophetic voices. Of course we also have the daughters of Philip who we are told prophesied, again not sure what that means.

Eric said...


I agree that Anna falls into that somewhat difficult to define period at the end of the Old Covenant and beginning of the New. It is hard to determine what her prophetic voice was. However, we know she was a faithful servant. That's really the focus of this series.